To Americans, a bestseller in Canada is like a tree falling in the forest. Unless it’s written by Margaret Atwood, they don’t hear it and it doesn’t exist. A beautiful novel by Francis Itani followed that parochial rule last fall. No. 1 in Canada, “Deafening” barely made a sound on the other side of the border. This baffling literary disconnect between the world’s two most connected nations is about to be tested again. Guy Vanderhaeghe’s “The Last Crossing” was selected as one of the best books of the year by Canada’s major newspapers. The Canadian Booksellers Association chose it as their favorite novel of 2002, and readers there have sent it to the top of the bestseller list. If there’s any literary justice, any thirst for adventure, any love for a great Western, then “The Last Crossing” won’t just cross the Canadian border, but shatter it.
The Christian Science Monitor reviews The Last Crossing.